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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  September 1, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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suddenly everything changes and it must put everything in perspective. >> am a graduate student at the university of maryland so i was supposed to go to class and i'm calling my friends and telling them turn on the news, i'm stuck, this is why, you can please let people know and of course my mom was worried. [ stand by for change in realtime captioner. ] earlier today i spoke with a couple of business owners who had been here at least 60 years, two combis owners and they said
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they never -- business owners. they never seen anything like this, a dramatic situation, that touched all in this area you might be stuck in traffic for a long time and you might be in the beauty parlor for a long time. the police are not taking any chances. this unbalanced man came into "discovery" today. they didn't know how powerful the explosives were. he had a gun, he had hostages. they were not taking chances and they still are not. we haven't heard reports about these other packages, how powerful they might be. one thing of interest. when they shot him, one of these explosives went off. we asked, how big are the explosion. they said they weren't sure
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exactly what it was. they weren't even sure it went off the way he wanted or expected it to. it could have been a whole lot worse. as david leavy said, they closed it down, although it was inconvenient for a lot of commuters. look up where we were looking earlier where they had the entire wayne avenue blocked off with all sorts of different police vehicles and so forth. they are not allowing cars to cross. but they are allowing people crossing the streets now. they're coming out of the metro and crossing 29 colesville road and going about their business. there is a slight sense of normalcy starting to return to this area after a long and hectic and frightening
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afternoon. there are vehicle. those are police vehicles leaving the scene right now. those are not public vehicle. those are private vehicles, i should say. those are police cars leaving the scene. people crossing right here in front of me, going about their business. maybe a slight sense of normalcy beginning to return but you get the sense for the folks waiting to get back inside that building you are looking at right now, the folks whose cars are there, purses or telephones, or whatever, they may not see that tonight. the thing from david leavy's statements, he wasn't sure they would open for business tomorrow. he was hopeful they would be but wasn't sure. the hostage situation is over. everybody is safe. but i have to say this evening is not over, not by a long shot. back to you. >> you're right, derek. the other thing that was interesting that david leavy's mentioned in this post-9/11 world is that this is a building that has done drills to get out
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of the building. they floor captains. they let the floor know what happened. you need to know this is where we're going and this is where we're evacuating. and it is something that many office buildings and many of us are doing this now that we're in the new reality. >> there is a different vantage point of "discovery" there in the middle of silver springs. people, employees, who evacuated there quickly about 1:00, 130, after all of this started, still some waiting to get back in. we understand that the police have units and making sure there are no other dangerous explosives. this suspect was believed to have brought in boxes and backpacks with him and they're checking those out and probably canvassing the entire building to make sure that it is safe before people go back inside to collect some of their valuable that they need. >> and there is no timetable for
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this because their job is to make sure the building is safe and not to make sure people can come in, get their purse and keys and get their cars. so this could be something that goes on for some time as well. we heard from the battalion chief from montgomery county, they're literally going to go floor to floor, room to room, to try to identify any potentially dangerous items. and if they come across something, it is their job to either clear it and make sure it is safe, or disarm it if it is not safe. that is a tough task as you look at the sprawling complex when you look at all of the floors and room and all of the areas they have to go through to locate these items. >> we heard through the afternoon from former bbi profiler who says after a situation like this goes longer, that is a good sign that things will hopefully end peacefully. but the s.w.a.t. team and snipers have to keep a close eye in any changes in the mood and
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agitation level of the mood of the hostage-taker. what we heard in the last press conference. that is what happened. james lee was becoming more agitated, that they were able to watch him closely via a camera. it looks like they were threatening the hostages on the round. he said he was going to take them with them and at that point the situation changed from a negotiation situation to taking action, and the snipers again shot at him, some sort of device on his body also went off. so this could have been a much, more severe situation as far as lives lost. >> the profiler told us that in most cases hostages do walk away from situations like this safely, and that san diego good news about this. the three people who were taken hostage who were also "discovery" communication employees emerged safely. we'll send it back out to derek
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mcginty. >> thanks, leslie. it is interesting, i was talking a little bit about things getting back to normal. wait a second, did i see cars drive down here? are these private vehicles coming through? look at this. these are folks coming down wayne avenue. i see vehicles turning and about to go down 29. we've got no official announcements about 29 being open again but you see it as well as i do, a private vehicle just going down the street. i don't know if that was someone who was at "discovery." we have to find out more information about that. that is good news for folks down here. look at mcdonald's. earlier i went inside that mcdonald's and it was completely abandoned. it was like people were spirited away. the lights were on and machines were running, but there was no people. it was evacuated. the security guard pretty much dragged me out of there. i was going to get a coke
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because it was hot. earlier today it was literally crazy down here. that is when delia and i arrived. >> it was, as you said, complete chaos on the streets. there were folks evacuated from the "discovery" building, family members and co-workers, lot of folks holding babies from the daycare, very nervous. and folks didn't know what was going on at that point. we had lots of folks who left buildings nearby just to look at the action happening here and the police activity. it took nearly four hours but all of it came to an end but it was certainly a very tense situation here earlier today. >> i need all pedestrians to clear this lot immediately. >> chaos outside of the "discovery" channel in silver spring. 1:00 p.m. police say a gunman
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entered a lobby waving a handgun canister bombs strapped to his chest. hundreds of employees are evacuated, nearby employees locked down. dozens of children from the day care strolled out in their cribs or in the arms of anxious parents. >> one lady came to me and said do not go to the lobby. there is activity going on out there. cops out there. >> we heard reports that there was a gunman in there. >> we had something last year, but i have no idea if this is related to that. >> reporter: the gunman held a small number of employees hostage but no one was injured. glad to see all these people get evacuated. >> they're telling you to go home? >> they told us to go home. >> you left your purse and everything. >> i borrowed money and hopped on the metro. >> at this point still negotiating with him, trying to
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get him to release the hostages and surrender peacefully. >> of course, that was the goal that all of this would end peacefully. however, we now know at 4:48 the police moved in, the tactic units did fire and shoot, kill that suspect. he was inside and we're not certain if the body is still inside of the building at this point. however, we do know it is still a crime scene situation. they are looking at additional information and additional evidence that could be inside. >> absolutely they are. i just want to recap what andrea mccarren told us earlier, that the hostages were in serious jeopardy when the police made the decision to fieshgs they were lying face-down. perhaps the hostages made a move to try to get away. when the police realized he might be about to kill the hostage, they took him down. earlier on they weren't sure or weren't telling us whether or not he was deceased, but you got to think he was killed pretty quickly. what is when one of his
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incendiary devices did go off. we have to find out how long it will take to clear the building. as i told you a bit earlier, the head of the bomb squad of montgomery county is here. he said we're in campaign mode right now. we're going up and down the building about to figure out exactly where these devices are, if they need to be cleared we'll clear them. if they need to be disarmed, we'll disarm them. you were talking to me a second ago, let me know where we were headed. thanks so much. i throw it back to you in the studio. >> thank you. derek, we'll check back in with you in a moment. other news going on because there is a hurricane out there and we need to update you on. we'll hear more about the track of earl. >> the track is getting closer to the mid-atlantic and we add updates we have tropical storm warnings for the entire delmarva. that means in the next 36 hours,
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next day and a half we have at least tropical storm force winds. they will move in. here is the latest, hurricane warning from cape hatteras, south of there tropical storm warning. trop system graced the coast. we have the hurricane warnings south of here. late thursday, early friday, everyone showing the delmarva beaches here, that is the tropical storm warning. this is more going to be in the early morning hours on friday and through the afternoon. earl is a quick-moving system. this is going to be through by the time it is all said and done by friday evening. the current statistics, still a category 4, back now to category 4. it will drop down briefly to category 3 off the coast of north carolina. current wind speeds 135 miles per hour. gusts beyond 160 miles per hour. i've stopped it here just when it is going to get close to cape hatteras, outer banks of north
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carolina. so we're still a day or two ahead from where we are right now. as we get to friday morning it is parallel to norfolk and d.c. it will start to wind down to category 2 status by this time friday. and friday afternoon merging from category 2 to category 1 and all out of here before we get to friday evening. the areas of concern, if you do have plans in the next couple of days, they will be overnight thursday and friday midday. it won't be until we get to labor day weekend things are looking good. so if you have plans for the eastern shore, things are actually looking just fine. let's go back to our weather for tonight. sunny and warm for evening. temperatures in the 80s. temperatures will be cooler in the outer suburbs, warmer downtown. another unhealthy quality day tomorrow. as we go through thurs afternoon it looks like it will be warm. bring the temperatures back
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down. upper 80s to 90. lower to mid-90s for some. we stand at 94 in washington. high of 97 here today. still warm, at least the humidity has not been awful out there. the warm temperatures we start to see subside as we see the effects of earl on-shore. outer bands of clouds moving in. thursday afternoon and thursday evening. we could see a lot more cloud cover in washington as we go overnight friday, and these are friday morning hours. outer bands, tropical storm force winds at least expected over the delmarva store. it will be category 2 to category 1. dying down as the hurricane moves over cooler water. then we have to look at the effects of a cold front that brings us a shower. and then as we go into the holiday weekend, cooler drier air spilling in behind the front. it will be fall-like temperatures--temperatures starting to move in. even as we head to labor day
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proper. temperatures as we go far west to far west. blue ridge, and lower 90s there. one or two clouds there. washington we're looking at temperatures a degree or two cooler from today. a high of 97, i'll bring it down to 93 or 94. fairly warm. in fact it is really warm for this time of the year but it won't be horrible. temperatures as you head to the bay and eastern shore, lower 90s and upper 80s. begin -- all eyes will be on earl. eastern shore, tropical storm warning going on overnight thursday through the better part of friday. that is the friday morning friday, and friday midday. if you have plans down south in north carolina, that is going to be thursday afternoon and thursday evening time period. washington, the only thing we really experience on our doorstep, a few more clouds, maybe a shower coming in, winds pick up a little bit, but it is not absolutely horrible, into labor day, things warming up again but we are looking for a
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great holiday weekend. ladies? >> all right. thanks a lot. also tracking this for us, we're in virginia beach giving us a look at conditions there. winds are whipping up, bruce. >> yeah, anita, it is hard to believe that we could be looking at tropical storm-force winds here and heavy, heavy rain and flooding in just about 36 hours from right now, because at this point it is a spectacular day down here in virginia beach. earl is about 800 miles behind me out to sea, and the expectation is that it will turn right just off of hatteras. the hurricane watch extends to the north carolina state line which is about 10 to 20 miles from where i stand right now. excuse me, the hurricane warning extends there. and we're in the hurricane watch area. there are red flags flying here. the surf is already dangerous. but as you might imagine, the
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surfers are having an absolute blast. it is a little bit flat right now, but the sets are about chest high and there are a ton of surfers out. come to the left unsee this giant sand berm they built here. you can perhaps see some of the kids that are playing here. this is a big, big weekend down here in virginia beach. as you zoom down towards the board walk down that way, you see the scaffolding along with the red flag, that scaffolding is for the american music festival and the emergency managers here are trying to decide whether they need to take that down, and they're going to be keeping a close eye on the track of that storm. if it tracks a little bit closer here, if they're too ticked to the west, they will definitely take the scaffolding down. look at the videotape. this is the uss cole, which came home early. it survived a bombing in the
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middle east but it is concerned about hurricane earl and, in fact, the entire fleet at the norfolk naval base is a little bit concerned about earl and they're preparing on 24 hours' notice to deploy out to sea and to get out in front of this storm. we talked to someone who has sensible advice for everybody. >> when you are at the beach and the waves look great and the sun is sunshining and kind of wrapping up the summer, it is easy to minimize the fact that you have a big storm out there, and you think it is not going to hit and you have plenty of time. and the truth is, it is dangerous and it takes a lot of time to plan to get out. so if you're evacuating anyplace, the outer banks, virginia beach, new jersey or maryland, tough have a plan. it is not something you can do once the storm hits. >> of course, virginia is under a state of emergency as are a number of other states in the
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area, and emergency managers say if you're thinking about coming down to the beach, watch the forecast, you may want to wait. we're hoping that it is out of here by late friday and the weekend may yet be good but you will want to keep an eye out. anita, back to you. >> we appreciate you keeping us posted. it does look nice down there. it depends what earl decides to document it can mess up your plans if it comes ashore. we'll go back to the top story, breaking news out of silver springs. they're still canvassing the area around the "discovery" area there. there was a hostage scene unfolding there. leslie and i have been following this. a 911 call came in this afternoon that someone fired
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shots in the lobby. that individual, james lee, then took three hostages, three men, one security guard and two other employees, and all of this began to unfold. >> it did. and, you know, the s.w.a.t. team was watching very closely. they could see him through the angle of a camera. they could hear what was going on, and it is typically protocol that a hostage negotiator tries to negotiate a situation down. so they were trying to talk with him for several hours, but at a certain point he became agitate #. and when it -- he appeared agitated. when he began to move, the police said, lee apparently reached down to grab a weapon and that is when they felt those hostages' lives were in danger, they moved in, they shot him, he died. apparently one of the explosives on him, blew up in some way. now, was it loud? was it soft? what was the noise?
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so we were not able to get a clear depiction of what that was, but the net is that all of the employees in that building who worked for "discovery" did emerge today safely. the gunman did not. >> the bomb-sniffing canine still around the building. and the employees who have cars and belongings still inside there, after clearing the building, we are not told at this point how long that will take. go back to hurricane earl. lot of people talking about this especially with the long holiday weekend coming up. we have scott broom in ocean city with concerns there. hey, scott. >> good evening. great job keeping up with the developments in silver spring. while all of that was going on, we had headlines in ocean city, the headline is that ocean city is not considering any evacuation plan at this point. only thing we heard from the official on the delmarva coast said to watch the situation and
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adjust your travel plans for friday. but the beach will be open for business on saturday. >> we are within the tropical storm-force wind field. >> reporter: the storm briefing today emergency managers and city leaders were told earl will likely pass more than 200 miles out to sea. at this point we don't have any consideration for evacuation at all. if the forecast colds, the mayor says at worst visitors should adjust travel times friday but otherwise not cancel plans. >> hopefully this is nothing more than an exercise. >> you don't want to drive during a storm. consider delaying your coming to ocean city. wait until the storm passes. use prudent and common sense judgment and we'll all get through this together and you'll be able to enjoy the beaches come saturday. >> we may restrict you can go and how far out you can go depending upon the surf. maybe restricted up to your knees only. but i think you're safe to come travel and enjoy the ocean city beach this weekend.
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>> so a fear of heavy surf after the storm passes is really the most significant danger they're focussed on here. they will have a full lifeguard contingent on the beach and they're asking the lifeguards on the duty to pay attention because they'll impose those restrictions. so it is a come on down kind of posture here in ocean city. storm force winds on friday. some minor coastal flooding. in ocean city that is not regarded as a huge big deal. they're asking travellers to adjust their travel plans. it will be spectacular weather through the weekend. down at the convention center there is a crafts festival. they are expecting a full talent despite the hurricane forecast. all of this is contingent of whether that forecast holds up. if it holds up the way it is
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shaping up, they say come on down. scott broom, 9 news now. >> all right. scott. and devon is telling us there can be beach erosion there, storm swells there and definitely some showers and storms but hopefully not enough to completely dampen your plans if you do have plans to go down that way. we want to refocus our coverage and get you back to the "discovery" story. the hostage situation is over. the hostages that were taken, three of them, are safe. but the gunman is dead after hours upon hours of negotiating did not seem to work. >> that's right. our derek mcginty has been field anchoring all of this after coming upon the scene literally just a few minutes after it all started and giving us a play-by-play, as you kept getting more and more information, dribs and drabs by the police. now we're getting a clearer picture of what happened there. >> we are indeed getting a much more clarified picture of
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exactly what went down today. it was in essence four hours of hell here in downtown silver springs, folks running all over the place, folks very afraid. somebody holding three hostages indecide the discovery channel and everybody evacuated. the whole area on lock down. and this is as rush shower approached in one of the busiest parts of town. it has indeed been a crazy, crazy day. the thing is, folks, it is not over, yet. the police explained how the whole thing ended in terms of the hostage-taker, and they also said there was the bomb squad hard at work because he left packages and bombs, whatever, and they were not going to open the building until they have the bombs out of there. andrea mccarren has been talking to some folks and has more on how this information is unfolding. >> as derek said , this scene is far from over. the "discovery" building behind us is still considered an active crime scene. the bomb squad officials, the
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battalion chief kevin frazier said that they will take as much time as they need to methodically comb through that building to ensure that there are not explosive devices. earlier i heard you talking about the negotiations. obviously they failed. however, while the negotiations were under way, snipers were put in position and they were -- via security cameras and simply eyeballing the suspect, were watching his every move. the hostages were face-down on the floor, the suspect at some point got agitated, apparently, picked up his weapon, the hostages tried to move, and that is when one of the snipers shot the suspect dead. so it's been an extraordinary afternoon here. not something that you see everyday in silver spring. >> no, but i think you have to notice just how quickly they were able to mobilize. i was here at 1:00, 130, 2:00, something like that, and this place was already swarmed with
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police officers. the whole thing got started at 1:00. >> it helps, discovery communications has held regular evacuation drills, i'm told by employees. we also know, we asked about the three hostages, one of them was a security guard in the lobby of "discovery." we don't know whether or not he was armed. >> actually i don't want to cut you off but we know that. david leavy the vice-president of "discovery" who was just out here maybe a half hour, 45 minutes ago said he was not afrmd. and so you got to wonder now -- he was not armed. you might think will they rethink that. compared to the situation at the holocaust museum where two or three armed guards were able to stop something from becoming more tragic even though they lost one guard there. >> investigators believe that two men, all three hostages were male. the security guard as well as two what we believe are employees. and investigators believe at this point that they were
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selected at random. when people in the lobby saw the man with the gun, apparently a lot of people tried to flee, for whatever reason the suspect apparently stopped these men in their tracks and held them. they were not tied with anything but simply held hostage with his weapon. >> we should know that, and as we talked to, again, the chief and david leavy, the vice-president of "discovery," look, were these guys picking people and were they targeted? the answer is no, it seemed that they were randomly there. people in the wrong place at the wrong time. this crazy fellow walked in, david lee -- james lee, and began to make a move. and that's what -- that's how this whole thing got started. >> okay. anita, back to you. >> all right. thank you so much. obviously so much happening all afternoon and we appreciate you staying with us here on wusa9 and
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we will continue our coverage of this major story of 9 news now at 7. [ captioner switch ] switch >> and that worst case scenario applantly happened when the hostages tried to move or moved in some way and that seemed to, place say, maybe agitate the hostage-taker, james lee. they saw him reach for what


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